Fire [socs]

fire and ice

Words that slither and twine
Within the confines of my mind,
Ravel and unravel,
Shape-shift between the sheets
Making up this bed of lies.
Sateen is a little like satin,
Silky, shiny, and cold;
But a mangosteen is nothing
Like a mango,
And your promises
Are like Prometheus,
Stealing all the frozen fire
From my solitary soul.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday (twin/tween). Note: this poem has five new lines at the beginning, modifying it from the original version I posted at 6AM, due to my misreading of the prompt words.

Coffee Time Questions VI

tea

This morning I’m having tea, so I hope it’s still OK if I reply to this edition of Rory’s Coffee Questions. I just deleted my SOCS poem due to completely misreading the prompt words last night. I sort of like the poem regardless, so I may work on it and repost it later. Not that this is an excuse, but yesterday I went to a restaurant with my coworkers ~ had a great time, except the air was slightly smoky. No one else noticed it, but my eyes are super sensitive. They’re still feeling teary today and hopefully I won’t screw anything else up.

1. Do you sometimes ‘just’ LIKE posts from those you follow but don’t often read the content, and if so, why do you do this? Is it a time restraint or something else that motivates this action?

I will confess that I have sometimes been doing this lately. It is a time issue, now that I follow almost 300 blogs. I really like to read poetry, so I prioritize that, and, for example, I will skim very lightly posts like this one from other bloggers even though I enjoy answering the questions myself. Generally, I will skip but not “like” a post without reading it from someone I haven’t been following for a while or from a blogger I disagree with politically because I don’t know what crazy thing they might say, but with people I’m familiar and comfortable with, I sometimes do it when they’re meandering on or posting a bunch of pics.

2.What do you do with gifts you have received but have no use for?

Generally, I get rid of them. I don’t have excess room here to store things I don’t use.

coconut shrimp

3. Have people become lazier concerning cooking do you think, or is it more a case of people not knowing how to cook? Is cooking considered a valuable skill by you?

There’s no such thing as not knowing how when detailed recipes are everywhere. I don’t want to call people lazy, nor do I want to say that I’m lazy, since that implies there is something “bad” about not cooking. Again, it’s time. Cooking is time-intensive and requires planning, shopping, prepping, and cleaning up, all for 20 minutes of nomming. Personally, as a single, it is not worth it to me except for a special occasion when I have company or am taking a dish to a potluck. I’d rather read a book. It’s also cheaper to buy a prepared meal than to purchase all the ingredients separately, especially if you don’t have room to store the 15 extra meals you get from cooking a larger quantity. Finally, my back hurts, and I can’t be standing in the kitchen for hours chopping up stuff, hovering over the stove, and washing up afterward.

Cooking skill isn’t valuable to me personally, but I can see it being valuable to others, particularly if you earn your living at it! I appreciate the cooking skills of the chefs whose restaurants I patronize and also the ones at Stouffers.

4. What news stories, in your opinion, have so far defined the 2020’s and what do you think they have taught us personally as individuals?

So far, this decade’s news here in the US has been dominated by stories about Covid, the presidential election, the former guy and his crimes, his rabidly insane fans, the Supreme Court, our regression on women’s rights, Ukraine, that egomaniac who bought twitter, inflation/the price of gas, crypto ridiculousness, a whole bunch of sports that I pay no attention to, and a kazillion shootings that we, unlike every other civilized country, are apparently unable to do anything about. What could possibly help? Hmm, such a mystery!

What have these stories taught us? Basically, that people are idiots and will keep repeating the same mistakes.

shrug woman

5. What would you never swallow even if you could?

Raw fish/meat, things like snake and alligator (cooked or otherwise), stinky cheese, super spicy food, and anything unfamiliar. I don’t even like trying new fruit or vegetables at this point, though I’m willing to try new desserts. At 61, if I haven’t yet tasted it, there’s probably a good reason.

6. How many hours of sleep do you get a night, and how many hours do you think you need and why?

Lately my sleep has been so much better! I’ve been getting 7 or more hours per night, which is fabulous, even when broken up with a bathroom trip or a quick scan of the news. I can function OK on 5 or 6, but I do much better with 7-8. Why? Because I’m biologically human, lol.

7. How important is it to you to have a clean house or environment to live in and does it have to be pristine?

This is very important to me, and my house doesn’t have to be pristine, but it does need to be free of obvious mess and clutter. I can’t function in disorganized chaos.

8. Could you give up your Smartphone and break your addiction to it?

No. And I don’t see any reason why I should. It keeps me in daily communication with my girls, contains my GPS (an absolute necessity), holds my contact info for friends, connects me to Spotify (ad-free music), and allows me to quickly look up any fact I need.

9. What have been five of your best TV shows from the dawn of dot to today? Why were they good?

The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under, Downton Abbey, and Game of Thrones (except for the terrible final season). Why were they good? Because I liked them! It’s all about the characters, not the storylines, and compelling characters, whether heroes or villains, hold my interest. Most shows focus more on gimmicks or violence than character development, which is why they bore me immediately.

10. Why is life not a bed of roses but a bed of thorns? What makes your life good and or bad?

Since everything dies, sadness and grief is a built-in feature of being born, unless you’re a sociopath/psychopath. All happiness is transitory, which makes it even more important to be in the moment and appreciate good times and the people you love. My life is good because of my daughters, grandchildren, and friends. And Gatsby!

baby gatsby

11. Toasted waffles or toasted bread, and why?

I’ve never been a waffle fan, so I’ll take the bread. I don’t understand these “why” questions about personal taste. Because waffles are bland corrugated cardboard and bread is yummy and smooth, perfect for peanut butter spreading? There you go.

12. How do you feel about the ageing process and you?

I wish my back didn’t hurt 24/7, but otherwise I’m fine with it and especially thrilled that I lost my sex drive, which makes my entire life so much easier and more enjoyable. I regret the five years post-divorce I wasted on trying to meet someone and being all stressed out about the dating madness. The last five years have been so much better without that. Of course, I don’t want to die, but on the other hand, my funds will run out at some point and then what? Go back to work at age 100? No thanks!

13. What is the last rebellious thing you did?

I used the handicapped bathroom stall in my office building yesterday because the free one was yucky.

14. What would be your ideal ‘you experience’ of the following …. museum, theatre, spa day, bungee jumping?

Museum: art. Theater: musical. Spa day: meh. Bungee jumping: pass.

15. Could you easily step off the planet and away from society and your friends and being social and also away from the Internet for 12 months?

No. Why would I do that? Sounds like the Unabomber.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Fragments of a Memory [fff]

red rose

[Reblogged from December 2, 2021 for Fandango’s Flashback Friday.]

1

Bubble gum pop circles drop
On Christmas green velvet
Billiard balls spin
Swirl a curl of purple
Violent violet
Keep the colors coming
Paint me into oblivion

2

Fog mists the morning
Monochrome grey
I can’t remember
How you took your coffee
Black pants white shirt
Tumble in the dryer
Sad jazz slips into blues

3

Memories change
When examined so often
Pack them stack them
Smash out the air pockets
Defragment my brain
Free up enough room
For one red rose to bloom

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

TGIF ~ Knowing Me, Knowing You

TGIF

Happy Friday! Happy December! These last few months have gone by crazy fast for me. How about you? I have social events galore coming up through the end of the year, but I’ve made peace with all the peopling and am even looking forward to the get-togethers and whatnot. Food, games, sparkly things… all good. I’ve also made peace with the fact that I’m just not that interested in working on my other writing ~ that book of long short stories ~ and am happy simply writing for this blog. Maybe I’ll get re-inspired in the new year to finish it up, if only to feel satisfied that it’s complete. That might happen… or not. We shall see. As far as the other other unfinished writing I have hanging around in various folders… meh. I have almost quit caring about it. Almost.

So I’ve been reading a bunch of Karen Rose romantic suspense novels lately and at least two take place in Chicago, in the winter, which reminds me of old, cold times. I can’t believe I lived in such a savage climate and survived to tell the tale. It was incredibly brutal to the point where it actually hurt to breathe the outside air, especially where I lived right off Lake Michigan. The wind chill factor often brought the temps down to 20 below zero in January. During my last winter there, I saw a lot of movies alone at Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue, browsing the stores before and after. On one memorable occasion, I saw my first music video in the window of a TV store. It was ABBA’s “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” and I was absolutely entranced. Sometime later on my own TV, I saw a couple Lene Lovich vids, but MTV itself wasn’t available in Chicago until after I moved away. Once I settled in California, that’s all I watched for months on end.

Anyway. I’ll review the Karen Rose books in more detail for my next Two for Tuesday post. Right now, you can enjoy the ABBA vid (not you, Professor) and think of your own TGIF post to complement mine.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Inspired by Jim’s Thursday Inspiration post.

Looking Back…

time

Lauren continues the Throwback Thursday series this week with a semi-rerun of an older set of questions (luckily, I don’t remember them because of OBS ~ old brain syndrome). We all wish Lauren good luck with her surgery next week.

1) When you were a kid, what were your creative outlets? As an adult, what have you created that you are most proud of?

I loved to draw and color and paint ~ I spent a whole summer around age 12 with a “how to draw a dog” book. I never did get any good at it, but I had a lot of fun. I also enjoyed sewing, embroidery, jewelry-making, and other crafts. My mom and I went through a candle-making phase. I didn’t write creatively that much back then, only for school really, but as a teen I got more into writing on my own.

As a young mom, I made scrapbooks, which I still have and enjoy perusing from time to time (my daughters do too). I also did a ton of needlepoint back then. Of course, now that I’m old, creative writing is the way I express myself best, though I still like to do crafts once in a while. The problem with crafts, however, is that (a) they tend to be spendy, especially beads and art supplies, and (2) they need SPACE, which I do not have an abundance of.

I’m most proud of the fact that I have written complete novels and self-published them!

book pages sparkle

2) Have you ever saved someone’s life? Did you ever witness someone’s life being saved? Did someone save your life?

Nope times three, though my ex saved me from an adrenaline shot to the heart during labor by remembering that I had issues with lying on my right side. If my OB had been there, I wouldn’t have begun passing out, but she was late, so…

3) Did you ever get lost as a child? How did you handle it? Do you get easily lost now?

I’ve never had a good sense of direction, but I don’t remember getting lost as a child. I probably stayed really close to home, or else rode my bike in a straight line and turned around. I have gotten lost as an adult, both walking and driving, and it really stresses me out. Now I use my GPS all the time and never try to second-guess it, which helps a lot.

driving

4) Did you search out presents your parents hid from you? Did you get caught? Do you hide presents from family members as an adult? Are they ever found?

I don’t remember that this was ever a “thing” I did or that my kids did. I don’t need to hide gifts from anyone now except for Gatsby because he has a tendency to gnaw on the edges of boxes and rip up ribbons.

5) Do you have a special song that was sung to you by either of your parents? Did you sing to your children? (or pets) Care to share the tunes?

My dad was more likely to quote poetry or snippets of literature, and I don’t recall that my mom sang anything. I, however, sang all the time to my kids (unfortunately I have a terrible voice), and so they know all the old silly songs. When my youngest was around 8, her teacher asked if anyone knew “Henry the Eighth,” and she was the only one who did. Well, of course!

Headphones listen music

6) What’s something you were afraid of as a child? What is something you are afraid of as an adult?

I’ve never liked heights and in fact last night had a dream about having to stand so close to the edge of a steep drop that it made me dizzy in my sleep!

7) What do you wish you would have learned more about in school?

Everything! I love to learn.

8) Is there something outside of school you were so interested in you taught yourself about it as an adult?

For a while, I was watching a lot of tutorials on how to paint, but I’ve since lost interest.

9) What made you laugh most when you were a child? What makes you laugh out loud now?

I’ve always enjoyed wordplay and jokes that hinge upon the meaning of words and twists upon meaning.

10) What’s something from your childhood that helped to shape your outlook on life?

I was bullied for being fat and unathletic, which gave me an empathetic perspective toward anyone who doesn’t fit into society’s “ideals.” I’ve noticed that people who were attractive and popular as children struggle to accept or even tolerate those who are different from the norm, but that’s not the case with me.

I was also alone a lot as a child, both because we moved so much and because of my lack of skill at sports, which helped me develop a love for reading. I’m grateful for this as it not only was great for getting top grades, but also it smoothed over times in adulthood where I had no choice but to be alone.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

November 2022 Stats

stats graph

I decided I want to keep track of my stats again. Why? I don’t know. But since I want to, I might as well share them here. My best months for views were during the spring of 2019 when I hosted 3TC ~ my highest month was March at 8,252. I don’t think I’ll ever match that again, but who knows. I had a random great month in February 2021 at 7,071, not sure why that happened. After that, I did my refresh and deleted everything prior to April 2021, reposting only the pieces I loved. Toward the end of 2021, I began to delete followers who weren’t (in my opinion) real bloggers and who never interacted after following me. These include marketing bloggers and people with no blogs or just a single intro post. This caused my views to plummet for a while (because maybe some of them were actual bloggers, lol), but they have been rebounding lately, even though I still delete fake followers.

Anyway. Last month I had over 6,700 views, which was my highest since February 2021 and around 700 more than in October of this year. It appears that soon I’ll surpass my “random great month” of February 2021, which is interesting because I’m not actively trying to get new followers, but I am interacting more with fellow poets and flash fiction writers and also following them. I still enjoy the personal essay blogs too. I gained about 60 new followers in November ~ I’ve been a little more lenient with those who have no blogs or only a few posts, though I still try to delete pure marketers. I’m up to 575 now, far below my peak of 2700 when I began x-ing those I didn’t think were real bloggers, and yet my traffic is still pretty good, all things considered. Clearly, my exit from Twitter at the end of October didn’t negatively impact my blog views at all, once more proving that being on Twitter didn’t generate any interest in tweeters to click over here and read my “real” writing (or buy any of my books).

My best post last month, with 112 views and 73 likes, is “Transcendence.” A close second goes to “Transient” at 112/65. These are serious poems, both written (in part) for a prompt from Moonwashed Musings (thank you!), which is interesting because my top post for October was a silly poem. I have to admit that Mr. Linky apparently does result in more clicks on my posts than if I simply link back in the prompter’s comments. All my top-viewed posts from November are poems, which makes me happy. I love writing the funny flash fiction, but it’s nice to know that readers appreciate my other side as well.

Same as in October, I sold one (1) book in November by doing nothing. Imagine if I did something… I might have sold two (2). Anyway, thank you to the lovely Dawn at Dawn Pisturino’s Blog who bought and reviewed Monochrome. I truly appreciate you.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Quirky Noms

avo egg toast

Blueberries
In a green salad
With cashews
Quirky noms
Match odd personality
Table for one please

Cottage cheese
Combined with salsa
Ex-hubby
Liked this treat
Not tofu enchiladas
Next day he left me

Avo toast
Baked sweet potato
Rice with peas
Then ice cream
Cuz life is ephemeral
Enjoy each moment

To serve man
No Cupid’s arrow
Heart attack
On a plate
Fettucine alfredo
Go out with a smile

Soylent green
That’s a bridge too far
I prefer
Well seasoned
A New York sense of humor
And over easy

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Shadorma written for the Skeptic’s Kaddish W3 31 and GC’s Weekly Prompt (quirky food).

The Conference Room

Conference room business meeting

“Thank you all for interrupting your online holiday shopping to attend this meeting,” Bob said. “To mark the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the founding of this company, there will be some changes. It’s a jungle out there, and we need to keep up.”

Janet rolled her eyes. Bob certainly knew how to draw out a moment, but she pasted on a dutiful smile, since she was his wife after all. The rest of the team appeared to be doing the same, except for Sheila, who for some odd reason was smirking like a cat on a lofty perch.

Bob continued. “Sales have have been in the toilet, so for that reason and also because he’s been sleeping with my wife, I’m firing Nick the sales manager.”

Janet gasped and turned to look at Nick, whose anger was plainly written on his face.

“Now, just a minute, Bob.” Nick rose to his feet. “We already discussed this. Sales were down due to Hurricane Britney, not us!”

“Whatever.” Bob waved that away and slid an envelope across the table. “I’m filing for divorce and marrying Sheila. Consider yourself served, Janet. Also, there’s no more free coffee here. You guys can go to Java Jim’s across the street.”

Ugh, Janet hated Java Jim’s coffee! She stomped out of the conference room. What a horrible day this had turned out to be. Black Friday, indeed.

For the rest of her life she would cross that date out on her calendar.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Emma’s Wednesday Writing Prompt (title) and Chelle’s Last Sentence Challenge.

Nonsensical

Howling wolf in snow

Howls drip icicles
Wind whispers secrets to trees
Snow falls in patterns
Eschew meaning in nonsense
Winter speaks its own language

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Tanka written for Moonwashed Musings.

One-Liner Wednesday

fractal heart blue

“Grandchildren are the greatest gift your heart will ever know.” ~ author unknown

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.